What to consider when travelling to Turkey
There are several important aspects to consider when travelling to Turkey:
- Passport and visa: Make sure your passport is valid for the duration of your stay in Turkey. Most countries require a visa to enter Turkey. Check the requirements for your country and arrange your visa in advance, if necessary.
- Health insurance: It is recommended that you take out health insurance that covers medical expenses abroad. Make sure that your insurance also includes evacuation in case of emergency.
- Climate and weather: Study the weather conditions in the region of Turkey to which you are travelling, and bring appropriate clothes and sun protection gear. Turkey has a varied climate, and the weather can vary according to the time of year and region.
- Security: As in any other country, follow safety advice. Be aware of the current political and social situation in the country and remain alert to your surroundings. Observe general precautions such as keeping valuables in a safe place and avoiding remote or dangerous areas.
- Local culture and customs: Get to know the local culture and customs to avoid trouble and show respect for the local population. Learn about the rules of etiquette and taboos, and try to follow them.
- Local currency: The Turkish lira (TRY) is the national currency of Turkey. Make sure you have cash or know of places where you can exchange money. Also find out if credit or debit cards are accepted in places where you plan to use the services.
- Local language: The main languages spoken in Turkey are Turkish and English.
Culture & Traditions in Turkey
Turkey has a rich and diverse culture, it combines influences from many cultural sources such as Greek, Roman, Persian, Arabic and Ottoman cultures. Here are some of the main aspects of Turkey’s culture and traditions:
- Hospitality: Hospitality has a special meaning in Turkish culture. Turks are known for their warm and friendly attitude towards guests. You may be invited inside for a cup of Turkish coffee or to sample traditional dishes.
- traditional cuisine: Turkish cuisine is known for its richness and variety. It includes such dishes as kebabs, meze (a variety of snacks), dolma (filled vegetables), baklava (sweet puff pastry with nuts) and many more.
- the Turkish bath: The bath, known as the ‘hammam’, is part of the Turkish tradition. It is a public place where people can rest, relax and undergo cleansing and massage treatments.
- Music and dance: Turkey has a rich heritage of musical traditions. Traditional instruments such as drums and saz (a stringed instrument) are used to perform folk and classical music. Traditional dances such as the “khoron” and “kolam” are also popular.
- Religion: Most Turks are Muslims, and Islamic traditions play an important part in daily life. Mosques are an important architectural feature in Turkish cities, and Ramadan (the month of fasting) is celebrated with special festivities and traditions.
What are the Worthwhile Places to Visit in Turkey
Turkey is a beautiful country with a rich cultural heritage, magnificent scenery and historical sites. Here are some of the most popular places to visit in Turkey:
- Istanbul: Istanbul is a metropolis that unites Europe and Asia. Here you can visit the Blue Mosque, Aya Sofia, Topkapi, Dolmabahce Palace, stroll through the shopping streets of the Grand Bazaar and taste some delicious Turkish food.
- Cappadocia: Cappadocia is a unique region with fascinating natural formations such as rock formations, fantastic cliffs, volcanic formations and cave houses. You can take a hot-air balloon ride, visit the underground cities and enjoy the beauty of the place.
- Antalya and the Aegean Coast: The Turkish coastline is renowned for its beautiful beaches, warm climate and historical towns. Antalya is a popular resort with a magnificent Old Town and other resorts such as Bodrum, Kusadasi and Marmaris can also be visited.
- Ephesus: Ephesus is an ancient city located on the western coast of Turkey. Here you will find ruins of ancient temples, theatres and libraries such as the Library of Celsus and the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
- Pamukkale: Pamukkale is a natural complex with white travertine terraces created by natural hot springs. Here you can bathe in the thermal pools and enjoy the magnificent views.